I explore and test drive a 2017 Ford Edge Titanium in this episode of First Gear. Not only does this SUV have one of the largest panoramic rooftops I've seen, and one of the most unique secret compartments, but it also has a feature that I've always wanted to test. So watch this video to find out what it is, I apologize if I get too excited.
Ford Motor Company will be the driving force behind America’s Thanksgiving Parade® with an exciting new float called Mobility One and more than 40 F-Series trucks, Mustangs and Explorers leading the festivities through downtown Detroit.
Ford, which is investing $20 million in local educational and community programs this year, is also extending its support for the region with a new three-year sponsorship commitment with The Parade Company – producer of both the Thanksgiving Day parade and the annual Ford Fireworks. This Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, the parade celebrates its 90th anniversary.
“Ford will always be a leader in supporting events such as America’s Thanksgiving Parade® that bring our region together,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We’re proud to announce our renewed commitment to not only continue supporting the great tradition of the Thanksgiving Day parade, but also the annual Ford Fireworks.”
The new Ford float, at more than 90 feet long, features a timeline view of the company’s rich history of innovation – from Henry Ford and the Model T, to the digital age and into the future of smart mobility and autonomous vehicles.
Families in attendance or watching on TV will see a larger-than-life Henry Ford, followed by modern-day students tinkering with technology and a visionary look ahead to a world of flying cars circling the globe. Twelve giant screens embedded on Mobility One will highlight some of Ford Fund’s numerous contributions to a better world.
Eight-time Olympic swimming medalist Allison Schmitt, a native of Canton, Michigan, will ride on the float, while her family will be celebrating other Ford connections as part of the festivities; Allison’s mother and three sisters work at Ford, while her father is retired from the company. Dozens of Ford Volunteer Corps members will be walking alongside Mobility One as well.
The annual Thanksgiving parade in Detroit is one of the country’s largest and longest-running. It traverses nearly three miles featuring bands, floats, celebrities and, of course, Santa.
Collisions can be caused not just by distracted driving, but increasingly, distracted walking. Every eight minutes, a pedestrian is injured in a motor vehicle crash, according to a recent report from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This rise is linked to a global influx of “petextrians” – people walking while texting.
Ford’s new Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection can predict the movement of pedestrians to help reduce the severity of and, in some cases, eliminate frontal collisions altogether. Debuting in North America as an available technology for the 2017 Ford Fusion, the system has been developed to help recognize pedestrians using more than 240 terabytes of test data – equal to 20.4 trillion books, or 600 Libraries of Congress with 34 million books each.
“Since we are trying to avoid a collision that hasn’t happened yet, prediction of the future is an inherent part of the puzzle,” says Scott Lindstrom, Ford driver assist technologies manager. “Having a huge cache of data – based on real-world driving conditions – helps our system be smart enough to determine what may happen in a second that has not yet even occurred.”
Global ‘petextrian’ problem
Cities around the world are tackling the increasing problem of “petextrians” and distracted walking. A theme park in Chongqing, China, painted smartphone lanes on 30 meters of sidewalk in an effort to combat the problem. And officials in Seoul plan to expand similar signage across South Korea next year. Pedestrians crossing the tram tracks in Augsburg, Germany, are now warned by a strip of blinking red LED lights mounted on the ground. The tiny town of Rexburg, Idaho, took a different approach, passing a law in 2011 against texting while crossing the street and slapping a $50 fine on anyone who does.
Predicting human movement
Ford Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection uses combined radar and camera technology to scan the roadway ahead for collision risks. If one is detected, the initial response from the vehicle is to provide a visual and audible warning to the driver and temporarily mute the audio system. If the driver does not react to the warning, the technology can automatically apply up to the vehicle’s full braking force to help reduce the severity of, or even eliminate, a frontal collision.
Aaron Mills, Ford safety engineer, says the more test data was gathered and then used to develop the vehicle’s algorithm to help it recognize a wide variety of human sizes and shapes. “We were startled to see how oblivious people could be of a 4,000-pound car coming toward them,” he says. “It was a real eye-opener to how distracted people are today.”
Working in daylight and in clear weather conditions – at speeds up to 50 mph – Ford’s system processes information collected from a windshield-mounted camera, which has been taught to classify different vehicle and pedestrian scenarios, along with radar located near the bumper to pick up shape reflections. The technology then combines both data streams using a unique Ford algorithm that calculates the risk of a collision. While the system may be especially helpful in unexpected situations, it does not replace the driver.
Ford is testing advanced features for future vehicles that could allow the system to operate at night, in low and harsh lighting conditions, and when vehicles and cyclists move in different directions.
Testing the technology
Using 12 vehicles, Ford conducted 500,000-plus miles of development testing in Europe, China and the United States, racking up more than one year – 473 days – of data logging. In just 15 weeks in North America alone, the technology recorded more than 3 million scans of roadside objects, vehicles and pedestrians across roughly 70 percent non-highway and 30 percent highway miles.
Other driver-assist technologies available for Fusion include lane-keeping assist, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking.
It may not be the first country that first comes to mind for sports cars, but drivers in Belgium have fallen head over heels for the new Ford Mustang.
Of more than 21,000 new Mustangs that Ford has now sold across Europe, 1,600 went to Belgian enthusiasts. That’s one for every 4,693 of the country’s 7,659,000 drivers – a far higher proportion than anywhere else in Europe.
Between them, Germany and Britain account for more half of new Mustangs sold since the current model went on sale across Europe, last year, for the first time since being launched in the U.S, in 1964. German drivers have bought 7,281 Mustangs (1 for every 7,700 drivers) and British drivers have bought 4,761 Mustangs (1 for every 7,743 drivers).
France is third with 2,126 sales and Belgium fourth, one of a number of countries with smaller populations, including Sweden, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, that are showing huge demand for what, last year, was the world’s best-selling sports car coupe.
“Mustang is a car that has a massive and passionate following among fans in Europe through enthusiasts’ clubs and numerous Mustang meetings,” said Laurent Charpentier, managing director, Ford Belgium. “It is a sports car like no other, one that some fans here have literally been waiting their whole lives for.”
Belgium has a long-running love affair with fast cars. The famous Circuit de Spa‑Francorchamps was one of the first race tracks to host Formula One, while race driver Jacky Ickx won the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times, once in a Ford GT-40, gained 25 F1 podium finishes, and won the Dakar Rally.
Among the new car’s biggest fans is self-confessed “Mustang nut” Adelbert Engler, who has built a collection of 5,500 Mustang model cars at his home in Heusden Zolder, as well as several full‑sized classic models.
“From interviews, movies and music videos to reports, anniversaries and exhibitions, I’ve done all of it with my Mustangs over the years,” said Engler, who is impatiently waiting for delivery of a Yellow fastback Mustang with 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine.
Mustang customers in Europe have a choice of 5.0-litre V8 and 2.3‑litre EcoBoost models, and fastback and convertible body styles. Red, grey and black are the most popular colours so far, with 72 per cent of buyers choosing fastback, and 64 per cent selecting the V8. EcoBoost models are most popular in southern Europe.
Year to date, compared with last year, Ford performance car sales, in Europe, have doubled; with models including Mustang, as well as Focus RS, Focus ST and Fiesta ST.
Employees of Smail Ford teamed with Ford Motor Company and other local Ford dealerships to help raise Breast Cancer Awareness this past Sunday at Heinz Field. Stationed at several entrances around the stadium, volunteers spent the morning distributing Pink Terrible Towels to fans entering the Pittsburgh Steelers game. The legendary Terrible Towel, normally yellow, goes pink every October while the Steelers and the NFL do their part to raise awareness of this important issue.
Smail Auto, likewise, goes Pink every October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For every car sold in the month of October, Smail Auto Group donates $125 to local breast cancer awareness charities to fund research, raise awareness, and fight for a cure. "Smail Ford volunteers were happy to support such a great cause and represent the Neighborhood Ford team," says Rebecca Septak, Smail Marketing Director. "We recognize the importance of growing awareness to save lives in our local area."
Get a detailed look at the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport in this episode of First Gear. Similar to "unboxing" videos, host David Fedor explores the interior and exterior of the Fusion, as well as taking it for a test drive, looking to discover all the small features that oftentimes get overlooked. Please like and share, and we love hearing comments!!
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and Ford has announced the Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge. Ford Motor Company will be awarding three grants of up to $70,000 each to U.S. non-profit companies to be used towards the purchase and upfitting of a Ford Transit that would serve as a disaster response vehicle.
“We’re asking for help from the experts on the ground on how to best utilize Ford vehicles following an earthquake, hurricane or other devastating natural event,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Ford’s strength as a mobility company combined with the know-how of dedicated disaster responders can take our efforts to a higher level and help more people.”
According to Ford's website, the grant proposals must contain:
Background on the nonprofit; specifically related to work in disaster relief. Please include data on the impact and geographic reach of any disaster relief work;
A description of the overall need and how a Ford Transit vehicle would be used to uniquely service that need, including any special customizations or upfittings;
Any alternate ways that the vehicle could be used when there is not an active disaster. Or, any possibility of deploying the Ford Transit to other parts of the country that may need disaster relief assistance;
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Ford is teaming up with major cities - starting with San Francisco - to reduce traffic congestion by growing shuttle service and collaborating with bike-sharing provider Motivate to expand its transportation solutions in city centers. The company has announced an agreement to acquire Chariot, a San Francisco-based crowd-sourced shuttle service, and is also establishing a new City Solutions team to work with cities around the world on their transportation needs.
“We’re expanding our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, and partnering with cities on current and future transportation needs is the next major step,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “For more than 100 years, Ford has been part of the community and the trusted source for automotive transportation. Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people – for decades to come.”
Ford’s acquisition of Chariot, subject to normal customary closing conditions, will serve as the cornerstone for its new global shuttle services business. The shuttle service is expected to be expanded beyond San Francisco to at least five additional markets in the next 18 months. The Chariot shuttles complement mass transit by filling the gap between taxi and bus services – providing an on-demand, point-to-point transportation option that is convenient, efficient and cost-effective. For every one dynamic shuttle that is placed into service during peak travel times, urban congestion could be reduced by up to 25 fewer vehicles, according to a private study for Ford conducted by KPMG.
Bikes are another important mode of transportation for commuters in the Bay Area. Ford and Motivate, the global leader in bike share, are working with city officials to add new stations and increase the number of bikes to 7,000 in the Bay Area by the end of 2018. When it launches next year, Ford GoBike will be accessed by users through the FordPass platform.
Ford also is establishing its new City Solutions team to work with cities on expanding mobility services worldwide as part of Ford Smart Mobility LLC. John Kwant – who has worked with several global cities during his Ford career as part of the company’s government affairs and global strategy teams – has been tapped to lead the effort as vice president, Ford City Solutions. No word yet on when these new initiatives will reach Pittsburgh.
For information about Ford vehicles available, please visit SmailFord.com.
I thought this might be a valuable resource for figuring out which is the right Ford SUV for you. US News & World Report recently released a Ford SUV Buying Guide with a brief review of each SUV that Ford offers. This is a great start for your research into finding out which Ford SUV is the perfect fit for your needs.
Compare the compact SUV Escape with a midsize SUV like the Edge, or a large SUV like the Expedition. Once you narrow your search, stop down to Smail Ford here in Greensburg PA and take a few models out for a test drive.
Visit us at SmailFord.com for more information of available Ford SUVs.